Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June Contest: Question 3

I think it's fairly well documented how I feel about my local card shop (LCS).

Do you have a good LCS? If so, what makes it good. If not, what's wrong with it?

I read these mythological posts about card shops with quarter and dollar boxes full of amazing vintage cards and I just don't believe it. (I do believe it, but I'm super envious.)

Who knows, if one of you has a great enough card shop, maybe I'll come visit. Don't worry, I'm not asking you to name your secret, amazing LCS. I wouldn't want to cause a stampede.

35 comments:

  1. I've got three options:

    1)a comic book store that, once upon a time, sold a couple cards and still has a crappy box of 10 cent commons.

    2)a slightly nicer comic book store that has an ok selection but nobody knows anything about cards. The prices are semi-reasonable, and they occasionally have older packs (ie 1999 Finest) on sale for cheap.

    3)the dedicated LCS and Memorabilia Shop. Incredibly loaded with massive amounts of stuff, tons of singles, vintage, boxes, packs, etc. etc. etc. at way-too-high prices. You know, the prices haven't changed since the mid '90s.

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  2. As I live in the UK having a card shop no matter how bad would be a bonus.I get really jealous of you guys being able to check out an LCS.

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  3. My local shop is, unfortunately, not so local; it's 45 minutes away. There's not much in the way of hobby packs to bust, and there's a quarter box that's pretty small. There's a pretty nice selection of overpriced vintage stars, and the rest of the singles are sorted by team. These singles aren't marked with any kind of price, so you basically just pick out what you want and the owner pulls a price out of his a$$. Sometimes the price is decent, sometimes not. The place, in general, isn't real impressive, but it's the only thing within an hour's drive. I get there maybe once every 6 weeks or so.

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  4. Mine is really bad. I recently did a post about mine, and the owner actually commented on the post and attacked me personally. Not sure if it really was him, but it's an interesting exchange. Read it at the link below if you'd like.

    It's an uninviting atmosphere and is ridiculously overpriced. Mickey Mantle 2011 Topps base card is for sale fore $4. 2011 Hobby packs of Topps Series One are $4. They hold tolds of old packs (like 1993 Stadium Club) and keep them marked are over $1. They are gathering dust.

    http://thelostcollector.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-lcs-is-univiting-rip-off.html

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  5. I don't have a local card shop even remotely close. I found one 2 hours away and it was horrible. All the stuff was priced way to high and it did not look like the prices on products from 2 years ago had ever been reduced. There were star singles, but they were marked with a price comparing them to Beckett. The staff was not friendly at all. I would have been willing to buy something (sheets, boxes, etc.) if the staff had been friendly.

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  6. I'm generally after the cheapest cards available, so even though there are two LCS's in my town, I never go to them, instead preferring bloggers, Craigslist and flea markets.

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  7. I have an EXCELLENT local card shop. Not only does the owner give me good prices on (admittedly out-of-town) Twins cards, but he will let me "check out" cards, and later bring them back if I don't trade them or pay him for the ones that I do trade. That kind of trust, I will not do him wrong.

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  8. Until a few months ago, I had no LCS at all! There used to be 6 or 7 here! Anyway, the new one is terrible. The whole store is singles at Beckett prices. One tiny box to look through, but no prices and the guy grabs a Beckett when you ask how much. The middle of the shop is shelves with boxes and boxes of 88 Donruss and 91 Fleer (for $15 each???) The owner is kind of cool, but I can't believe he's been in business this long.

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  9. I rarely go to my LCS anymore because I don't want:

    1. Overpriced boxes
    2. Overpriced packs
    3. Overpriced singles of current cards only
    4. NASCAR jackets
    5. Neon bar signs
    6. Minimal attention from employees who know less than I do.

    I've decided that they just don't have what I'm looking for and it's best if I stay away.

    And yeah, I'm convinced that the LCS with dime boxes of '50s and '60s cards is an internet myth.

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  10. my LCS is a 45 minute drive in decent weather and traffic. But he makes it worth it. He is the ideal card shop owner. He knows his stuff, remembers who you are and your collecting habits.
    Yeah, his boxes may be a wee higher than necessary, and I could never buy singles out of his cases, but he makes it worthwhile.
    I'll never see dime boxes or dollar boxes there, but I'll always make a trek there every three weeks or so.

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  11. There's one I used to go to once a week as a kid, as they had a cool contest. Buy anything, get a ticket. For every $10 spent, get another ticket. (So even a $1 pack would get you a ticket, $10 would get you two, $20 gets 3, etc.), and each week he threw $25 in the pot, and it rolled over to the next week if no one claimed it. I won $50 I think one time, and I was in heaven, being a 1-pack a week purchaser. It's still there, but it's been about 15 years since I've been there, and I haven't been back since I resumed collecting last fall.

    Now I'm going to have to get over there this weekend and check out how much it's changed.

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  12. I absolutely love my local. Lots of variety, great prices (particularly when I'm looking to grab stuff solely meant to trade away), and some decently-priced vintage. They're very friendly, and always willing to answer my questions.

    It's awesome.

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  13. I'm fortunate. I have a few cards shops in town. One I go to for supplies and the 25 cent bin, the other for reasonably priced cards. If card shop #2 was closer I'd go there more often.

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  14. My favorite LCS is nearly 20 miles away. There is one about 7 miles away but it's more of a collectible action figure store that just has some cards and packs. The store doesn't really have any awesome bargains, but the guy's friendly and cuts me a break sometimes even though I don't ask. They don't have quarter boxes or anything like that, but they do have a $5 jersey/auto binder. I could probably find the stuff cheaper online but not by much, and I picked up a Tim Hudson low-numbered autograph for something like $6. There was a shop open across the bay that closed at the end of the year that had a bunch of awesome deals and ran little auctions in the store over the course of each week. I picked up a bunch of junk wax era sets for as little as $2 each.

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  15. There is no longer an LCS for me to talk about. There hasn't been one in my town for about ten years now. I loved my LCS as a kid though. Second Base Cards and Collectibles. I would spend a lot of time just searching through the commons box at 2 for a nickel (this was 1988). Sure there were great vintage cards, but to me the best memory I have of my old LCS is completing my 1988 Score and Topps sets from the 2 for a nickel boxes.

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  16. I've got two out of three of Spankee's options:

    1)a slightly nicer comic book store that has an ok selection but nobody knows anything about cards. The prices are semi-reasonable, and they occasionally have older packs (ie 1999 Finest) on sale for cheap.

    ...if I'm right, this one is right by where I work and I stop by there on a regular basis, they don't know my name but they remember my face and treat me right.

    3)the dedicated LCS and Memorabilia Shop. Incredibly loaded with massive amounts of stuff, tons of singles, vintage, boxes, packs, etc. etc. etc. at way-too-high prices. You know, the prices haven't changed since the mid '90s.

    ...this one I've stopped at for the last time last month. His prices are high enough that I feel whatever offer I'd be willing to pay would just piss him off!! I go in there to get some two-card pages for some really cool postcard sized Bombers flyers from the Troll. The owner tells me 69 cents each or like 10 for $4. Can't bitch about the price cause I need them, so I take the 10 fer deal, with tax, $4.20. I give him $5.25. he gives me back a nickel. I say that's not right, he then gives me another 75 cents. I say that's still not right and that he owes me $1.05. He looks at me like it's some kind of new math and I'm ripping him off for $1. He's got 9-count pages (the ones I pay my Comic store $11.99 per 100) marked at $12.50 for a 50 count. I won't say I'll never go in there again, but I AM THINKING it!!

    verification word: basted - I feel like a basted turkey for buying from that shop!!

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  17. and I now pretty much consider my blog list as my LCS!!

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  18. My LCS is like 1 Hour away. The people are nice but there are no boxes of singles and stuff. The hobby boxes are like 3 times the usual price and ridiculous.

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  19. I'm a fan of my local shop, The Dugout Zone. Their prices aren't amazing but they all recognize my wife and I when we go in, and they offer a 10% discount if you are in their "club". The shop is probably 15 minutes from our house so we don't make it too often.

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  20. I have a LCS that's really more of a "we buy gold" joint, so they care a great deal more about that junk than cardboard junk. They do, however, have a 10 cent box that has been known to flash a miracle now and then. Mostly, all the card stuff is jammed into a little corner and given little attention.

    The other LCS in my town is more of a comic/magic cards place, but they have a decent amount of vintage, also stashed in a little corner. The vintage is sorely abused, which makes the prices super low, and that makes the shop great, since they sell '50s Bowman commons for a buck or two. Again, they are sorely abused vintage.

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  21. I am lucky enough to have 3 LCS within 15 minutes of my house and one of them is in an area I work in on a semi regular basis. Each has there great points. Shop #1 is the best for getting my boxes at a very reasonable prices (Cheaper then the internet). The owner was a great guy who passed away on 3/31/11 and his wife is also fantastic but can't handle the day to day operations but the 2 guys running the store for her now are awesome as well. Jimmy, the owner who passed, always had a small pile of stuff set aside for me when I came in of stuff he just thought I would like and he was usually right. They have a wide selection of new and old packs, boxes, and sets at good prices and will help find specific cards I am looking for to complete sets. Bargain binders with $3 relic cards are a nice plus too. Shop #2 is the one where I work near on a semi regular basis so I get there a little more often. His pack prices are good and he has a decent selection too (not as good as shop #1) and his box prices are a little bit higher but not crazy over the top either. His "showcase" has some great cards and he always cuts me a great deal on singles, autos, and relics from the cases since I am a regular. He will even give me first crack at some cards before they hit the showcase. We always have good conversations about the hobby, sports, and whatever else comes up. A bargainj bow there also is always fun to go through as well. Shop #3 is close to shop#1 and is mostly a wrestling memorabelia store but has started to expand his baseball, and other sports card selection and has decent prices on what he does have. His singles are way overpriced but he has 80's packs dirt cheap so it's just a matter of what I am in the mood for. His gimmick that I like the most are the mystery envelopes he makes up with 10 cards plus a hit. Thay can be Mets, Yanks, random players, or Hall of Fame Players, your choice. Sure HOF'ers cost a little more but the cards are better so why not.
    The first 2 shops are my main stays for most of my store purchases while shop 3 is a change of pace once in a while.

    There you go, I am very lucky to have great spots to get my cards.

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  22. There are literally 2 shops literally within a mile from my apartment here in Chicago. One has some display cases chock full of overpriced singles and real live quarter boxes... full of low condition mid-to-late '70s stuff. I've gotten supplies there occasionally but he's usually out of those too. Don't know how he stays in business.

    The other closes at like 5:30 so I will never be able to go there. Probably doesn't matter since I think they only sell Pokemon cards to kids and I'm sure the rest of the stuff is crazy overpriced.

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  23. I'm not too experianced with LCSs cause i went so long without one. But all the ones I do know that I consider good all had one thing in common. Friendly owners. Even if they charge too much that can be overcome with a friendly person. (overpriced to a certain degree)

    It wasn't local to me before and certainly isn't now but i would recommend Centerfield Sportscards in Springfield MO. Jason is a really nice guy and is ALWAYS there to help. (I have stopped in at 8:00 on a Sunday night and he was open) He has tons of stuff laying around. To the naked eye there is no rhyme or reason to it but he knows where everything is and is more than happy to help you find stuff.

    So far in AZ I have found 3 shops. Two with great owners and one with an ok owner.

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  24. I've got 2 LCS's that I frequent. The first is an established store that manages to probably do more business in memorabilia than cards. They have a large display, but they are definitely more focused on the bottom line than anything else. They show no joy in shared stories of big pulls, and offer nothing along the lines of trade nights or participating in the HTA programs with Topps. But if you pay cash, the prices are cheap and so I keep coming back.

    The other place is a hole in the wall only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. However, they have a great bargain vintage bin, cheap singles and they love hearing stories of cards you pull and really like when you open purchases of new product in-store so they can see it. They are a bit out of touch with the modern collector, as they are retired guys who do it just for fun, but they do get guys like Nolan Ryan to do private signings because they have long-standing connections with the old Astros.

    Both shops could learn a little from each other, and there are reasons I go to each. I guess I'm blessed to have two places I enjoy going to for one reason or another.

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  25. What I like about the card shop that I visit on my lunch breaks is that it's right in the shadow of Fenway Park, the owner is very nice and will throw a deal your way when you are a regular customer.

    What I don't like is that sometimes I have to struggle in order to find something there to spend money on. He doesn't always have an open box of everything that he has in stock, it's not a huge store due to location and so the selection can be limited.

    Prices are fair though and I have fun when I stop in there. To be fair, I'm not his target customer. He has a good number of people that come in regularly and bust a bunch of wax. I'm not in that collecting bracket any longer.

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  26. have 1 LCS located in a flea market--nice guy to talk to and pick up some sruff at good prices-

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  27. The shop is small, and their prices are outlandish. While I was there, the only woman on duty just sat at her computer and surfed the Web. See this post: http://just-in-justinsworld.blogspot.com/2011/05/first-trip-to-lcs.html

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  28. It seems that whenever I find a hobby shop, it's either moved or closed within 6 months.

    While I love the way the Internet has changed the hobby, it's had a negative effect on brick-and-mortar stores. At least around here.

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  29. I have an LCS, but I'm not sure if it's a "good" one. The guy who runs it is nice and he has a decent selection of singles, but he only has about 6-8 different boxes of unopened packs at any given time, 2/3 of which are football. It's a pretty small business, so I too, am missing out on the great quarter/dollar bins of cards.

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  30. I have a LCS, it is ok. I find some reasonably priced singles there sometimes, but there are also a lot of unreasonably priced ones. Also, they do not have a lot of hobby packs and sell mostly boxes. They do, however, have nice prices on old hobby boxes.

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  31. I've only once in my collecting life lived within 30 miles of an LCS and I have no idea how far I am from a GOOD one, since I've never found it. But even a low to average LCS is WAY better than no LCS.

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  32. I've documented a couple of times recently about my experience in my local. Nice to have one around for window shopping in downtime but he's a pain. I much prefer the area's card show held about once a month.

    However, in 9 days I'm moving four hours away from here so everything is about to change.

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  33. There are two LCS's that are close to my area of residence and work. One of them is WAY overpriced, but they guys are at least friendly and chat you up when you walk in and browse. The other one is more decently priced, but the guy who runs it simply sits around behind the counter and doesn't attempt to communicate. His prices are decent, but I would prefer more interaction. I too think talk of all these good shops with 10 cent bins are mythological.

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  34. I am fortunate enough to have had at least four awesome card shops close up or move on me and still have an excellent one to frequent.

    Why it's good:
    #1 EVERYTHING IS PRICED. This is the most important thing ever. Once you spend a lot of time looking though some dirt commons for some card you need and finding out the shopkeep wants a buck a pop for some penny cards.

    #2 Fair prices on everything.

    #2a Especially packs and boxes

    #3 Lots of inventory. Commons to Mojo to Memorabilia

    #4 Large variety of storage at good prices

    #5 Place is clean, you can find everything. I've seen places that look like a tornado hit. Looked like my basement. Not a good place to shop.

    #6 no pulling out the Beckett on every damn card. Good owners know their prices.

    #7 DIME BOXES AWWWWWW YEAHHHHHH

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